Corona and other viruses in Kenya and the World
To date, there are 2,336 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 71 deaths in Kenya. On the other hand, according to the IPOA (independent police control authority) there were 32 accidents and 15 people were killed by the police during interventions directly related to the imposition of the curfew. Eighty-seven police complaints have been reported since late March. The latest death was that of a homeless man in the Mathare slum, who was killed on Monday for alleged violation of the curfew. Yassin Hussein Moyo, 13, was also killed by police while on his home balcony after the curfew began. Attorney General Noordin Haji approved the arrest of the officer who killed Yassin. Hundreds of Mathare demonstrators protested these “incidents” on Tuesday. Human Rights Watch claims that the police raid homes and shops to extort money.
It is no wonder then that the George Floyd case had a particular resonance. There is the dimension of racism, which is not foreign to any dark-skinned person who lives on this planet. There is also the direct and daily experience for everyone, in Kenya, of a police who since the constitution of 2010 has changed their name from Police Force to Police Service, but always remains deeply corrupt and prone to violence. “Accidents” always happen to the detriment of the poor.
Racism is the founding experience of the identity of all black-skinned people, in whatever nation and continent they live. It can be said that this negative experience creates a sense of solidarity among people of African origin beyond any national border, above any other cataloging. In America a black Christian and a black Muslim are first black.
In the distant past, I spent almost the entire year 1976 in a parish in Watts – then the black ghetto of Los Angeles, known worldwide for violence, especially that of the police – and I was studying what was called black theology. I met and interviewed one of the (then) most famous black panthers. Today I found a quote on the internet by James H. Cone, the founder of black theology that I had also tried to meet personally, without success. “In the” lynching era, “between 1880 to 1940, white Christians lynched nearly five thousand black men and women in a manner with obvious echoes of the Roman crucifixion of Jesus. Yet these “Christians” did not see the irony or contradiction in their actions “. (James H. Cone, 2011, The Cross and the Lynching Tree). That is: “During the” lynching era “between 1880 and 1940, white Christians lynched nearly five thousand black men and women in a way that evidently echoes the crucifixion of Jesus at the hands of the Romans. Yet these “Christians” did not see the irony or contradiction in their actions. ”
It seems that things haven’t changed much since then. Maybe in some countries they have gotten worse.
By Padre Kizito Sesana